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    A tourist carrying a Union Flag umbrella walks in the rain during a spell of wet weather, next to The Tower of London, in London, Britain January 15, 2017.

    'A Matter of Just Being Sensible': Effective Brexit Can Be Secured, MEP Says

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    LONDON (Sputnik) – Prime Minister Theresa May could still secure an effective exit from the European Union provided technological solutions to the Irish border are considered and the United Kingdom's agreed withdrawal from the bloc is "rock solid," Margot Parker, a member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    Speaking about the so-called Malthouse Compromise – now a largely dismissed proposal to potentially extend the transition period and to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland via the implementation of new customs technology – Parker was optimistic, arguing that a no deal scenario would be difficult but ultimately manageable.

    "We can align ourselves with the regulations and directives we can cope with, so it's a matter of just being sensible. We know there's a technological option available if they'd care to take the blinkers off and actually look at the situation in Northern Ireland. But you've got to be optimistic and you will be able to deal with it. Otherwise we're tying ourselves into knots in terms of not being able to negotiate trade deals with other countries," she said in relation to the Irish border.

    She stressed that the United Kingdom may benefit from trade deals with other countries apart from Europe.

    "Clearly we can see the growth for business is in other parts of the world — Asian economies, America, India. We know that's where the growth will come from. So we need to be able to do that but we couldn't when still tied to the apron strings of the European Union," Parker noted.

    Speaking on UK Prime Minister Theresa May's efforts to overcome current difficulties over the backstop mechanism, the lawmaker argued success might still be possible, despite the withdrawal date of March 29 rapidly approaching.

    "They will, I'm sure, want to have a deal if it is at all possible. I think it is possible but it's very, very difficult. It's a great face saving situation here where it's about who blinks first. Less so with the Prime Minister but I think she has created a great deal of this stress for herself," Parker said.

    READ MORE: UKIP MEP: What We Have in Terms of Theresa May Deal on the Table, Is Not Brexit

    She noted that no one would accept a Brexit deal without an exact leaving date.

    "I think she's put herself in a straightjacket, unfortunately I think quite deliberately, and I think she's still a ‘Remainer’ in her heart, despite what she says in the House of Commons. So she's boxed herself into a corner but what she can't do is, I believe, leave us tied in a deal where there is no definite exit date. Nobody will accept that. The whole reason people voted to leave is to take full control. If you can't do that you might as well remain in," Parker said.

    May arrived in Brussels earlier on Wednesday in yet another attempt to overcome the deadlock in negotiations over the departure from the European Union.

    Critics within May’s own party, most emphatically the Brexit-aligned European Research Group, have consistently opposed any implementation of the EU-approved backstop mechanism, as they fear it would see Britain tied to the bloc's customs framework.

    Having previously gained parliamentary approval to re-open negotiations to explore "alternative arrangements" to the backstop, May has so far failed to convince European counterparts of a way forward.

    The prime minister's position was also further shaken this morning with the news that three Conservative member of parliament had defected to the newly minted "Independent Group," itself founded by seven Labour members who left the party on Monday in protest over what they claimed were issued of endemic antisemitism and confusion over Brexit.

    The surprise defection is widely seen as being a further blow to the prime minister's ability to muster unified support both within and without her own party, divisions that were again starkly demonstrated last month where her original Brussels-approved Brexit plan was voted down in Parliament.


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